Monday, November 26th: CESARIA EVORA
Cesaria Evora was a Cape Verdean vocalist and recording artist. Nicknamed the "Barefoot Diva" for performing without shoes, she was also known as the "Queen of Morna".
Morna is a music and dance genre from Cape Verde. Lyrics are usually in Cape Verdean Creole, and instrumentation often includes clarinet, accordion, violin, piano and guitar.
The Barefoot Diva began singing morna at age 16 and her talent soon had her performing all over the islands.
In 1985, Evora was “discovered” which led to the release of a series of albums, launching her into international fame. Touring and recording around the world, she was awarded the 2004 Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music and was knighted by the French Legion of Honor, the first knightess of Cape Verde.
After 57 years of music and 11 successful albums, Evora passed away in her hometown in 2011 of repertory failure and hypertension. A Spanish newspaper reported that 36 hours before her death she was still receiving people – and smoking – in her home in Mindelo, popular for always having its doors open.